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Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks
Episode 21st May 2020 • Podcaster Stories • Danny Brown
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In episode two of Podcaster Stories, I sit down with Gini Dietrich, CEO of communications agency Arment Dietrich, Inc., and founder/host of the award-winning Spin Sucks blog and podcast.

Having made the move from co-hosting a PR podcast into her own show where she takes the led, Gini shares what that transition has been like, along with lessons learned along the way, how the show has grown exponentially, and more.

She also talks about the personal change that came in her life seven years ago, and how that's changed the way she's approached life and business in general.

Topics on the menu include:

  • How the data that showed only 1% of podcasters were female spurred her into action
  • What's been the biggest challenge
  • How the Spin Sucks podcast is the #1 lead driver for her agency
  • The best piece of advice she has for new podcasters
  • How she came to adopt her daughter Addie
  • How it took almost three years to finalize the adoption
  • Who Gini's all-time hero is

Settle back for a fun and enlightening conversation on podcasting for communicators, and how business owners need to look after themselves and their employees first.

Connect with Gini:

Contact me: danny@podcasterstories.com

My equipment:

Recommended resources:

Mentioned in this episode:

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Hey, this is Danny here from Podcaster Stories. Thanks so much for listening, and I'd love for you to get the latest episodes when they're released. So make sure to follow on your favourite podcast app, or hop on over to podcasterstories.com/listen. If you enjoy the show and want to leave a review, you can do that at podcasterstories.com/review to share your thoughts with listeners just like you. Thanks so much for being part of the Podcaster Stories community, and now here's this week's episode.



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp

Transcripts

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Hi, and welcome to Podcaster Stories. Each of us will

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have a conversation with podcasters across all mediums and share

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their story of what motivates them, why they started to

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show how the group, for sure, and more, but also

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talking about the personal lives at some of the things

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that have happened that made them the person in the

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afternoon and know who is your host Danny Brown Hey

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guys. And welcome to another episode of Podcaster. Stories where

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we talk to the people behind the voices of the

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show is the lesson this week, as you could, maybe

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here we have more than one guest. We have, we

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have Jenny Dietrich who's the CEO have a PR and

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communications from in Chicago, Illinois, and she is also the

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founder and host of the Spin Sucks blog and podcast.

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And at the podcast will be talking about today. And

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we may also be talking about the little monkey that's

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in the background to we'll see how it goes.

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You had to be quiet. And she said he can't

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hear me.

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Yeah. That was going to take some major noise. And

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so Jenny, welcome to the show. How are you doing?

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How is that?

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Hi, I'm great. I'm great. How are you? It's been

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a long time since I've actually seen your face.

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I know. And, and now my internet is choppy. So

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the camera is all choppy in, what have you seen?

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It's all fun. But yes, I was thinking about the

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other day I was thinking in the last time we

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caught up was probably the, the event and Ottawa. Oh

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yeah. Yep. That's probably the last time that I think

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we'd caught up. Cause it, we got

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Together, wasn't it?

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Yup. Because I know I had been done in Chicago

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and 2010 before Ewan was born and then maybe prior

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to that, where we're at, BlogWorld in Toronto. Yup. And

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then in 2012 we did social media.

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Yeah. So I think it has been since then. That's

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crazy. Wow. Eight years. Wow.

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So some form of normality was to fix up. Yes,

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we do have to fix it up. So Gini, tell

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us a little bit about your show to them.

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You know, it's funny. I was at content marketing world

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probably three years ago and I met the chief marketing

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officer from Libsyn and he said to me, you know,

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you should start a podcast. He had been to my

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break out session and I was like, yay. Yeah. Okay.

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Whatever. And he said, the interesting thing is that less

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than 1% are women posts. So you would do really

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well just from that perspective. And I was like, Oh,

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well, that's interesting. So I thought about it and I

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thought about it. I thought about it. And then I

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talk to my team about it. It was just the,

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one of those things. That was another thing that we

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had to do. Right. And finally, a friend of mine

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said, you need to meet the woman who used to

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produce my podcast.

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They've just started their own business. And so they came

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to me and they said, we're going to make it

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really easy for you. We can take your blog post

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and repurpose them into content. And all you have to

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do is record. So that was 100 episodes ago.

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Well, and that's crazy that you mentioned this was three

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years ago that you met with the person and you

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said the only 1% of hosts were female. I wonder

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what the numbers do you have like an idea of

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what that number is increased

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Considerably, but

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I know we see a lot of shoes are on

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the web, like APO or whatever that are either cohosted

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are hosted, sold by a woman, but then you see

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that's a crazy stat. You might have guessed in indicative

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of communications industry in general, a lot of business in

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general, in general. Yeah. But wow. So that was three

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years ago and you are a a hundred episodes. And

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could you do like a week with Joe? Right. And

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you've been in for two years.

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Well, I did. Yes. For the Spin Sucks the, I've

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done inside PR for gosh, 10 years now.

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All right. Because you did it, the lifeline, I think

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it did for a live podcast.

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Yeah. Yeah. So that was probably one of our first

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I would have think 10 years. Yeah.

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So what's been the biggest challenge now that you've moved

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on your own because obviously, like you mentioned that you've

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done the insight PR podcast for X amount of years,

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you're the sole cost of The Spin Sucks podcast is

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the, so what, what sort of lessons did you take

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from doing it on it and say PR and what

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do you know, what challenges you face in doing your

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own show at home?

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So the biggest challenge for me is that I'm not

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an auditory learner and I'm not a podcast listener. I

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just don't have time. And so going into that medium,

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it takes me twice as long to do that than

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it does to write a blog post or, you know,

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I can sit down and pound out for a thousand

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words in about an hour, but I can't, for some

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reason, the podcast takes me significantly longer. So, and I

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think that's why it's because that's not how I learn,

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but I keep at it because it is our number

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one driver of new business.

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Oh, wow. Well, that's cool. So that we were actually

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getting leads and on the podcast, that is awesome. I'll

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be speaking to our mutual friend, Bob Reed. And he

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had mentioned he got a lead from Reddit of all

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places. It's like a lot of conversation on Reddit and

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has gone back and forth with this guy in South

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Korea about a, a lead for this agency, which is

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awesome. That's cool. So what, when you, when you mentioned

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it like that, so that's your, your primary lead driver

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at the moment is that from clients that have listened

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to a show where it's spoken about something specific to

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their needs are how has that played out?

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And I think its more along the lines of they

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listen and you know, I mean you listen to this

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stuff and you put somebody in your ears and you

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feel like they say, you start to note that to

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know them and trust them. I think its more of

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that then really specific things like, and, and, and certainly

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I talk about, you know, some of the things that

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we do as an agency and it's been Sucks and

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so it, it does lead to that thinking of, gosh,

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I think that they can help them.

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And so to that point then M what's your goal?

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How have you been driving the, the growth of the

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show? Obviously you'd been gone two years. I didn't know

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that she knows how ignorant I am and I thought

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it was like a fairly recent may have been the

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last six months that you'd launched the podcast.

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You know, what's funny about that is we exploded in

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November. There were a couple of things that happened in

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November one I so the, the, the production company used

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to write the scripts for me. And I took that

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over in November. So I think it became more authentic.

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And we promoted Laura to Laura Petra Leno to a

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chief marketing officer and S and podcasting is her thing.

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She loves it. So she created a big promotional plan

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around it. So those two things, I mean, it exploded,

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we went from 70 or 80 downloads per, per episode,

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and now we're at 5,000.

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Oh, wow. That's great. And that was just since November,

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right? Yeah.

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Yeah. So it makes sense that you would think that

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its in the last six months,

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Well, honestly, a lot of the smarter, one of the

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two. So you can notice a difference in the way.

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So what are some of the things that you're doing

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then that to promote the podcast? So obviously, you know,

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your share it on your networks, where are some of

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these other things that you have phoned have worked for

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growing a show?

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Really? We just, we shared an email and we share

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it on a blog and we shared it in social

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work. We don't really do anything beyond that.

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All right. And then obviously you've got, you got word

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in my life. I noticed that you've got a good

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chunk of us on iTunes, which is always good for,

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you know, helping show it to your phone or on

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the directories.

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Yeah. The reviews have helped. We also moved from Libsyn

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to a megaphone and that the data in that is

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better I think. And it's, I, I think it's helped

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us reach new audiences through that as well.

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And so Microphone is a host to do is promote

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it on their own channels as well. You've got like

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a section there where people could find you and Microphone.

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Yep. Yep. And how has the experience of moving from

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C co-host and with that? Or is it marketing joke

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and say PR are you doing yeah. Marshall and Jo,

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right. That's all right. So moving from a cohost to

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just running that for yourself, what are the expectations are

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that has the, has it lived up to your expectations?

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So have you had any specific challenges of a solo

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podcaster from a team of three?

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I mean, yeah, so we probably shouldn't admit this out

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loud, but we would show up for our recording and

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spend five minutes beforehand discussing what we are going to

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talk about. And then we would record and now I'm

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like super methodical and I think about what I'm going

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to do and how can I involve the community and

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you know, do we need to bring in lists of

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your comments? What does that look like? And there was

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a script and you know, that I write a blog

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post, so it it's a, it's a bigger commitment.

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Oh, for sure. And then to that point, let you

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mentioned, do you plan ahead? I mean, obviously because of

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the industry, we can, you can flip on a coin

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in and have a new students break and email that

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you came in to use a content calendar and plan

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ahead what you want to speak about it like eczema

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a few weeks and months down the line, or how

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do you plan that out?

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Well, I will tell you that we did until the

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Corona virus. And then when that happened, we did on

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a dime and we haven't gotten back to the plan

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that we had because we'd been sort of navigating the

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waters of what people are talking about, especially in the

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Spin Sucks the community and what we think they need.

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So at first it was, you know, here's a, here's

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how you go virtual. And then it was, this is

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really hard and here are some mindset things that you

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can be thinking about. And then it was, you don't

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have to hustle and learn a new language or to

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start a new business doing this, like just protect yourself.

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And so we've kinda gone down that road versus more

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PR stuff for now eventually will, will flip back to

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the business stuff, but that's where we are right now.

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Okay. And do you think that maybe that's because a

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lot of businesses, but obviously in the same ball as

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yourself and they are looking at challenges facing they're the

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client's, you know, are coming in and signing clients and

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keeping the team members employed. Do you think that switch

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has led to some of the, you mentioned the leased

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out of there come on in your company, is that

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the leaders that are looking to do the same thing

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that would allow them as they go on?

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And I would say it's yes. It's been interesting because

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we'd been virtual since 2011. So the idea that people,

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it is overwhelming for people and that they don't know

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what to do. It's funny to me, cause it's just

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how we work right now. And we've had a lot,

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a lot of people come to us and say, can

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we hire you to help us kind of build this

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infrastructure and understand what it looks like and to be

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for us, we were like, just getting, get zoom and

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Slack. Right. But it's, it's a bigger than that. So

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if some of the business that we've done during this

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is that kind of stuff, which isn't to say.

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And what are your goals for the future of the

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show? So you mentioned that I would say it, that

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that was a PR book podcast, and that can be

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taken a little bit of a backseat at the moment,

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but do you have like a big one-year five-year plan

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kind of thing for the shore and the direction is

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going to take all of us to continue to look

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to offer leads, et cetera, and how that plays in

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to your, your business?

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Yeah, I mean, for sure we want it to, to

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drive leads and we launched the peso model of certification

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in February with Syracuse university. So that's our big push

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for the next 12 months at, at, at the very

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least. So we want to see, you know, the podcast

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help with that. I really see it as an extension

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of the blog, which is professional development and it's just

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a different way to get it. And if you're an

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auditory list of an auditory learner, it's an easier way

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for you to get it. And then just sit down

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and read and read a blog post or read a

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4,000.

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All right. And I know you can create the, was

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it the Spin Sucks the online Academy? Did the podcast,

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is that going to be featured as a part of

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our like exclusive stuff for Academy members or will be

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Eventually? Yeah, we're not quite there yet. We're actually working

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with a university in Canada that will help us build

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into that for us. But so that's coming,

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So obviously a great Canadian mind's again, help in the

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U S or just for who you are with you

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like to say it. I'm not allowed

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To see it yet, but it's somebody's you would recognize

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it.

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Okay. Okay. So I would imagine that maybe you have

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a, look it up. How could we Sue Sue? Oh,

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I'm going to sit down by, in case I'm not,

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I'd like to say after this is going to be

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thinking of my Indian friends that are at university of

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Utah, isn't it. I want to get to look forward

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to that. Ask someone that's been on my podcast app.

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And then what one piece of advice would you give

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to someone who is interested in following your footsteps? You

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know, either start a podcast or expand in their, their

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cutting content plan to compliment it with some podcast apps

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is now. And again, what was your piece of advice?

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I would say two things. I would say find a

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cohost because it's easier, you know, than having to do

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it yourself. And I also would, the other piece of

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advice is I would look at different models like everybody

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who podcasts does the interviews. So is there a different

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way that you can look at podcasting that doesn't, that

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helps you stand out? That doesn't make you look like

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everybody else?

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What is basically to give to me that not to

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sound like anybody else? I mean, first

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Of all, listen to you, you, you don't sound like

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anybody else,

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The squash podcasters,

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You get it, get an accent. You know, I think

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that the way that you're is that the I'm going

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to say something nice about you in this relationship is

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really hard for me. Here we go. The way that

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you market your are the things that you're doing, and

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I've seen you evolve over the, you know, the last

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decade get even longer. You do such a nice job

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of promoting what it is what's coming guest that you

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have. I mean, they've done a great job and that's

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been kinda fun on Facebook. I've talking about this podcast

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and see what's coming in the line up for this

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one. And you do such a nice job with that

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in a way that's authentic and interesting for people. You

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also are doing.

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It's a different topic. You know, you said you're not

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doing something about marketing or communications like everybody else. So

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that the topic is interesting to me.

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I want you to tell you, is that a $47?

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That's it go and write, right? Are we still in

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that four to $7 go and write it up to

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97, 97 or an inside joke on going rate for

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social media wanks and gurus to selling courses, to change

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things up a little bit. Obviously we've got a little

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guests, a special guest with you today in the backroom

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there. I'm not sure my, the list. It will pick

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up on that one up. So Addie, do you want

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to talk about Addie in how she came in to

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be in your life with the nurse or a hue?

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It was like a big secret for the longest name.

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And then you were finally three to open up about

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that. I mean, that's going to have, who obviously has

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been a huge change, you know? So if so, how

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did that come about? And, you know, what's been the

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biggest changes for that.

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You can't have my own children and we looked at

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different ways to grow our family. And then we went

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through, we went and talked to our adoption agencies and,

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you know, we did all of this stuff. One of

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the things we found two things about adoption agencies here

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in the U S and one was that they needed

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you to have W2's to show that you are employed.

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And because Kelly and I are both self-employed, we don't

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have W2's, we had tax returns, but we don't have

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to agree to. And so they had a really hard

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time with that. And the other thing is that, you

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know, this was 2012. They wanted me not Kelly, but

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me to be available, to drop everything and go live

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in another state for three to six months until the

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baby was born.

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And as a business owner, that wasn't something that I

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was able to do. And so it was really tough

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to sort of go down there and I'm sure that

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we could have jumped those hurdles, but it was, it

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was if they made it harder than it needed to

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be. And so we looked at foster care and we

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went, you would go to foster care class and you

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sit in a room without windows every Saturday, all day.

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And you really, you learn about the bureaucracy of the

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foster care system is what you learned. And so then

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you pass and you get certified, and then you wait,

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and on January 14th, 2014, we've got a phone call.

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And they said, we have a baby girl she's in

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emergency care. Can we put her with you while we

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figure things out? And we were like, wow, like we're

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not in this to give the child back essentially were

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in the school, in our family.

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And then the social workers said, you know, it just,

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I really have a feeling about this. I don't think

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she is going back to her mother. And she did

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it. So we went through the whole process of, we

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had to show up three days a week to the

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library so that the biological mother could see her. And

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that the biological mother didn't show up at night. We

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had to prove that we were there and I have

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to fill out these forms every three days a week

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that prove that, you know, showed that we were there

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and that we waited for an hour and all those

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kinds of kinds of things. And after 90 days have

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not showing up. And they said, okay, well, you only

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have to do at once a week. And, and so

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we did that once a week, every week. And again,

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she didn't show up. And so the 90 days after

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that though, they reduced it too once a month.

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And one of those times she did show up and

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she said to me, can I talk to you alone

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for a minute? And she pulled me aside and she

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said, would you be interested in adopting Addy? And I

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was like, Oh, well, and there was a lot of

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back and forth. Like she, she was, she was very

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young and she knew that that was the right thing

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to do, but she was also getting pressure from her

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family not to do it. And so there was a

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lot of back and forth and a lot of appointments

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in dates and all that kinda stuff. But I, November

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of 2017 who you were able to finally adopt her.

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So it was, it was almost four years of that

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back and forth and back and forth and back and

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forth.

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And that must of been, I mean, I can only

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imagine how frustrating it must've been to be so close

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at times, but then the way we have, is it

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going to happen? And then, I mean, was there any,

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was there any things that you just thought this is

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not going to happen? And we can keep doing this

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or was it not enough of an option? Really?

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So it sort of, wasn't an option. Like I don't,

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I don't think we ever thought that it wouldn't happen,

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but you know, you, they have to do everything. The

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court system has to do everything they can to make

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sure that later one of the parents, biological parents does

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not come back

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And try and get the child. So they had to

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try,

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So it will alert the father, but she didn't know

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who the father was. So we had to alert three

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different men, and then we had to put something in

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the paper. And so there is like all of this

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stuff that has to happen and there's time in between

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that it takes. And finally, the judge was like, yeah,

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you guys don't need to worry like that.

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We just need to run through them. And that was

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to be some teas to know. She just told you

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to be six per three recently. Wow. And she is

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like a, a chirp a little while. And I said,

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well, what are the things that have been enjoyable and

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on Facebook and that I saw it. And I think

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that's been one of the cool things to fall on

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this story along is you're a, PR outgoing and gregarious

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person generally, but you couldn't obviously share what was going

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through, you know, your life at the table body right

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now. You'd like to speak about it in general, the

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quality, the time, one of the things, the cool things

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that we are seeing, as you share it on, on

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Facebook, you are daily updates about how your family Dietrich

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is going through this and, and that's going to be

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fun.

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But you also share that like any parent, the kids

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think the rotten and they want to be in a

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different file. And I got a pack up and leave,

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but it's been some of the, the fun challenges, you

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know,

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You know, I mean, it's my favorite, favorite title of

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all. And you know, you love being a parent too.

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It's, it's one of the best things ever, but yeah,

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she's a sassy little thing. And she, it's funny because

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people will say she's so, you know, I mean, nature

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versus nurture there, but she's just like every other kid,

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you know, she did, she did pack her suitcase at

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the start of this. And it was like, I'm going

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to live with my friend because I don't like you

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are. And I was like, all right, well, you're not

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going to like your friend's mom more than you like

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me, but, okay.

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All right. And then, has there ever been in the

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more like that, or was it just like your little

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daily battles or is it pretty much it,

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I mean, right now it's more along the lines of,

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you know, she's just, I'm sure your kids are doing

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this to you. Do they miss their friends? They miss

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the routine. They miss being able to be outside. They

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must going to recess or they missed the social piece.

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They miss the routine and the structure of school. There's,

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you know that we're recording this on a Friday and

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we haven't done any school today because I'm just like,

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it is what it is, you know? And, and she'll

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say things like, you're not doing it right. Or you're

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not my teacher, or, you know, it depends on a

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day, some days I'm just like, yeah, I get a

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kid. Then other days it makes me cry. But

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Yeah, no, I hear you. It's a joy. I always

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think being, being a parent is one of the most

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equally reward and an underwater, you know, because no matter

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what we do, we will suck at something. And so,

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okay. So who is your all-time hero and why?

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This is my all time hero and why? I would

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say my mom, you know, she's just, she's just my

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rock. She was my rock. She has always been there

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for me. She's always known exactly what to say. Sometimes

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she says things that I don't want to hear, but

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need to hear. And she's my best friend.

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Well, it was mother's day coming up soon. Mother's day

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is coming up soon. So you can have like a

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double celebration I can give of yourself and I'll see

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your mom. So what are you guys doing to do

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you guys communicate via zoom at the moment then when

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you're do you go, you like screen time, FaceTimes, FaceTime

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in text or text or a constant. Yeah. I know

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how to do a blog post a few years back

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about, you know, why you shouldn't be scared of upset

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and Jenny districts, mum, after she died. See what I

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said? I said from others, this is funny. So if

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you need it, this is like, I really enjoyed catching

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up with you. Like you say, we it's been almost

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10 years since we've actually been in the same room,

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which is kinda weird to think about that for people

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that want to find you online, listen to the podcast

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and connect with you.

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Where's the best place for them. He catch you

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In Sucks dot com.

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And so everything will feed up from there. They can

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find you on Facebook where they can find the podcasts

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that are everything over there. And I would drop them

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the links to the, the sh the show and the

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site and everything in the show notes. Thank you. Thank

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you. Okay, well guys, that I, again, Janine, thanks for

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being on the show. I really appreciate it. I love

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the fact that we had a lot of guests for

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about three quarters of the show, which I think it's

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going to be. So like, everybody's got to realize that

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this was what we do during the day, right? We're

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trained to do what we did. Hopefully your, your farm

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is keeping, well, I know what's Kelly doing this. This

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is, he still worked on in the political arena.

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And people are so mad at Trump that he's doing

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very well.

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So that sounds good to, it has gone up a

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lot of leaders that you'd be hoping for that. I

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don't know. Well, I appreciate your coming on the show,

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but I hope that people, you know, I'll check out

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your podcast player, the see. So it's a, it's a

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different kind of podcast for the communications industry at the

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moment. So really helping people understand, you know, what's going

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on now and how it works, you know, how do

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we get through it and, and get them back into

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the communication site later until the next week, guys, this

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has been Danny on Podcaster Stories if you enjoyed this

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big show up, be sure to subscribe. So you don't

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miss an episode when it comes out until the next

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day take care and we'll speak soon. You've been listening

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to podcasts or Stories. If you enjoy this week's show,

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be sure to subscribe.

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So you don't miss an episode and feel free to

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